Rugby

France come calling for Kockott

2014-09-21 14:53
Rory Kockott (AFP Photo)

Paris - South African-born scrum-half Rory Kockott looks set to make his debut for his adopted country France after coach Philippe Saint-Andre named him in a 30 man squad for a training camp for the November Tests on Sunday.

The 28-year-old kicking specialist - who has been outstanding for his French club Castres since arriving in 2011 and scored 22 points for them in their win over Oyonnax on Saturday - is one of five uncapped players to be called up for the games against Fiji, Australia and Argentina.

The others are 24-year-old New Zealand-born prop Uini Atonio, who plays for La Rochelle, Toulon prop Xavier Chiocci, Bayonne No8 Charles Ollivon and Racing-Metro's lively wing Teddy Thomas.

Montpellier fly-half Francois Trinh-Duc, who many regard as France's best fly-half, earns a recall with the other No 10's in the squad Clermont's Camille Lopez and Kockott's halfback partner at Castres Remi Tales.

However, there is no place for Saint-Andre's previously favoured two scrumhalves - Lopez's team-mate Morgan Parra, who formed an effective partnership with Trinh-Duc under former coach Marc Lievremont - or the in-form Maxime Machenaud of Racing Metro as Toulon's Sebastien Tillous-Borde got the nod instead to compete with Kockott.

Saint-Andre, who has come under increasing pressure with his overall record a mediocre 11 victories, two draws and 16 defeats in his 29 Test matches since taking over from Marc Lievremont after the 2011 World Cup, also dispensed with the services of Clermont's veteran prop Thomas Domingo, and backrow forwards South African-born Antonie Claassen and Fulgence Ouedraogo.

Experienced hooker Dimitri Szarzewski, like Machenaud and Claassen a stalwart of Racing-Metro, was also left out although his exclusion may be more to do with having injured his left knee in Saturday's 27-16 Top 14 victory over Toulouse.

Squad

Forwards: Xavier Chiocci (Toulon), Alexandre Menini (Toulon), Benjamin Kayser (Clermont), Guilhem Guirado (Toulon), Nicolas Mas (Montpellier), Uini Atonio (La Rochelle), Rabah Slimani (Stade Francais), Alexandre Flanquart (Stade Francais), Yoann Maestri (Toulouse), Pascal Pape (Stade Francais), Romain Taofifenua (Toulon), Damien Chouly (Clermont), Thierry Dusautoir (Toulouse), Bernard Le Roux (Racing-Metro), Yannick Nyanga (Toulouse), Charles Ollivon (Bayonne)

Backs: Rory Kockott (Castres), Sebastien Tillous-Borde (Toulon), Remi Tales (Castres), Francois Trinh-Duc (Montpellier), Camille Lopez (Clermont), Mathieu Bastareaud (Toulon), Wesley Fofana (Clermont), Remi Lamerat (Castres), Maxime Mermoz (Toulon), Teddy Thomas (Racing-Metro), Sofiane Guitoune (Bordeaux-Begles), Benjamin Fall (Montpellier), Brice Dulin (Racing-Metro), Yoann Huget (Toulouse)

Read more on:    castres  |  rory kockott  |  rugby
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